he more I am inclined to believe that Ueshiba's skill level, while very good, is highly exaggerated and has long since been surpassed, maybe even by a lot, by a number of people (and probably was even while he was still alive).
Hi Tarik - wondering who is on your list. I'm thinking maybe Tamura (Nobuyoshi) and Sunadomari, after O-sensei's death. While he was alive... I don't know. Shioda? Shirata?
And, more closely on-track:
4. He worked at the Nakano Spy School, teaching people how to kill, and stopped, not because of his horror at the idea, but because his methods were not considered useful enough
Hi Ellis -
I enjoyed HIPS and am looking forward to getting the 2nd edition of Dueling. But as of yet, I haven't read it, so maybe that is more called for than a reply here. But anyway:
I thought I'd read interviews where folks suggest that he did
become unhappy with the idea of promoting killing of the opponent during the war. Maybe in your view such comments are more wishful thinking than historically accurate? Sorry I can't find a citation.
One thing I am excited about, regarding the contents of Dueling with O-sensei, is the possibility that he was not truly in favor of the war, but went along with it anyway because he felt he "had to" in some sense. For instance, in Chris' translation of this interview with Okumura:
Shigenobu Okumura wrote:
O-Sensei also followed the teachings of Omoto (Omoto-kyo), and there was something called "The Budo of the Gods does not kill" ("jinbu fusatsu" / 神武不殺). However, at that time he couldn't say such things. ...[Later,] he said "I was rebuked by the gods. They told me start over from the beginning! The Budo that kills is prohibited!"
Sunadomari also said the Omoto folks secretly felt anti-war. At any rate, I guess it is hard to discuss the idea that a person "secretly" felt a certain way. If Japan hadn't lost, no one would come out with such "secrets," so it's hard to put much stock into this.
But still, it is a possibility. I could see him going along with things, and maintaining friendships/associations that presented themselves, just because that's how the Kami willed things to happen. (Rather than because it is something he